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Here’s some very good news for people dependent on methadone – especially long-term pain management or methadone replacement patients on higher daily dosages searching for a detox clinic that will accept them.

Novus Medical Detox Center now accepts all patients, regardless of their daily methadone dosages. The results are uniformly positive, even for those trapped by those on higher dosages.

The best news of all – not only will we accept them, but methadone detox at Novus is also faster, and far more comfortable, than patients dreamed possible.

A huge problem faced by many methadone users is trying to find a detox clinic that can handle their higher daily dosages. Many have tried to “wean” or step down their dosages to get off the drug and either failed to make it all the way, or if they did, soon reverted to using again.

As any methadone dependent person who’s tried to detox will attest, methadone withdrawal is usually even more difficult than withdrawing from heroin or other opiates and opioids. This is especially true for those whose daily doses have crept above 100mg, 200mg or even 300mg and higher. And over the years, the run-of-the-mill detox clinics across the country have given up trying to help such people because of the medical complications associated with higher dosage methadone withdrawal.

On the other hand, Novus Medical Detox Center has developed fast and effective medical protocols for treating methadone dependence, even at daily dosages of 150mg to 300mg or more. Not only is detox accomplished in only 7 to 14 days, patients go home off all drugs and fully prepared to take their next step towards a drug-free life. And they can accomplish all this in only one to two weeks at Novus.

Here’s a quick picture of the Novus safer, more comfortable higher dosage methadone detox program:

  • After you arrive, your full situation – personal needs, medical, drug history etc. – is fully assessed
  • A unique taper program is designed for you by the medical staff
  • Medications help control the pain of withdrawal
  • Daily IVs of vitamins, special nutrients and amino acids build your strength and also help ease withdrawal
  • Natural supplements every day also help you feel much better
  • Choose a private or a shared room, both come with flat screen TV and WiFi
  • Patients rave about our delicious and nutritional food
  • You’re not locked into any schedules, groups sessions are entirely optional, and one-on-ones with staff experts are always available
  • Your taper is adjusted to ensure the most comfortable withdraw based on your individual metabolism
  • Within 10 to 14 days you’re off all drugs
  • We help you choose an after-care program that really works for you
  • We provide complete directions on how to stay healthy using the special nutritional supplements we supply for you after you get home.

If you or someone you care for is trapped by higher dosages of methadone, don’t hesitate to call a Novus advisor today at 1-866-596-7313 and get all your methadone detox questions answered.

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Statistics reveal that deaths across America from methadone are much higher – “substantially higher” is the official terminology – than from all other opioids, including street drugs and prescription drugs. Although methadone detox programs have helped many people recover from dependence and avoid fatal overdoses, thousands of others haven’t been so fortunate.

Look at these numbers:

  • In 1999, roughly 800 people died from methadone toxicity
  • In 2008, just nine years later, that number exploded to 4,900 – a 600 percent increase.

NOVUS BLOG May 2 2014 Methadone detox only solution to high death rate_html_m35600f3This scandalous rise in methadone-related deaths directly parallels the dramatic increases in two rapidly expanding medical practices:

  1. Prescribing methadone for chronic pain
  2. Prescribing methadone as a “treatment” for opioid addiction

In both practices – treating chronic pain and treating addiction – the dangerous characteristics of methadone have been well known. So if the dangers were known, what happened?

Some of the answers are contained in the new, updated “Clinical Practice Guideline on Methadone Safety” just published by the American Pain Society (APS). This detailed document was prepared by dozens of experts after reviewing more than 3,700 scientific abstracts. It appears that medical training simply skipped a lot of really necessary data that could have prevented the methadone catastrophe.

The purpose of the Guide is “to provide evidence-based recommendations for use of methadone in persons of all ages for treatment of chronic pain in primary care or specialty settings, or for use in licensed opioid addiction treatment programs.” In other words, try to figure out what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t keep happening in the future.

Here are some major recommendations:

  • A thorough patient history, review of medical records, electrocardiogram and physical exam is essential before starting methadone treatment
  • Clinicians should counsel patients about the potential risks for methadone to affect heart rhythm and depress breathing
  • Clinicians should consider buprenorphine as an alternative to methadone for opioid addiction patients with certain heart rhythm problems
  • Methadone should be started at the lowest possible dose and increased very slowly
  • Patients treated for opioid addiction should undergo urine drug testing before starting methadone and at regular intervals during treatment

The good news is that “measures can be taken to promote safer use of methadone”, says the APS. We can only hope that these recommendations will be adopted by the thousands of state and local health agencies involved and that the methadone death toll will begin to fall.

Of course, for the tens of thousands of American families who have already lost loved ones to poorly managed methadone treatment, these guidelines are too late, as much as a decade too late.

These heartbreaking death statistics are a lot more than just numbers. These were moms, dads, sons and daughters, grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts. These were real people with hopes and dreams and families and careers. They are gone, in large part, because of a careless system that skipped vital safety practices in favor of the quickest, cheapest fix possible.

Here at Novus, our job isn’t to correct this terribly flawed system. But we do have a suggestion for those countless thousands of people already dependent on methadone, or who are opioid dependent and thinking of starting a methadone replacement program. There is a better, more sensible solution.

Novus is reversing the skyrocketing methadone addictions and deaths. And we do this by delivering the most comfortable, most effective methadone detox programs in the country – even for the highest methadone dosage users. Novus gets people back home and back to their lives, drug free, in almost no time at all – that is, compared to the eternity of the alternative.

Call Novus today. We help people create new futures.

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A nationwide survey has found that new heroin users today are a very different group from the traditional beginners a couple of decades ago.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say that, in the past, heroin was a drug that introduced people to narcotics. Back in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, more than 80 percent were inner-city, disadvantaged male minorities who began using heroin at around 16 year old.

Today, more than 90 percent of new heroin users are young white adults from middle-class homes in suburban and even rural areas, and they’re already hooked on opiates – prescription painkillers. At 23 years old, they’re significantly older than the traditional teenager from the inner city, and even though they may have started out wealthier, their pill-popping habits have dried up their resources. They are switching to heroin simply because their OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin dependencies have become way too expensive.

NOVUS BLOG MAY 29 2014 TODAY’S HEROIN USERS MOSTLY YOUNG WHITE ADULTS_html_166d0b36The researchers gathered data from more than 150 drug treatment centers across the country. From 2010 to 2013, more than 9,000 opiate-dependent patients completed surveys, and nearly a third of them reported that heroin was their primary drug of abuse.

There were three key factors for choosing heroin:

  1. Accessibility – it’s everywhere and very low cost
  2. Enjoyment of the high
  3. Ease of use, whether smoked, snorted or injected

Another factor that increased the switch to heroin was the reformulation in 2010 of OxyContin, to make it harder to crush the pills to powder to snort or dissolve and inject it. Before long, the original OxyContin reached $1 a milligram on the street – $80 for a single 80mg tablet – and countless thousands of OxyContin addicts turned to heroin, only $10 for an equivalent high. (Pictured at right, Asian brown and white heroin. Source: DEA).

“If you make abuse-deterrent formulations of these drugs and make it harder to get high, these people aren’t just going to stop using drugs,” said principal investigator Theodore J. Cicero, PhD, a professor of neuropharmacology. “As we made it more difficult to use one drug, people simply migrated to another. Policymakers weren’t ready for that, and we certainly didn’t anticipate a shift to heroin.”

But that’s the way the ball bounced, and today heroin is at or soon will be a major epidemic in every state in the country. Several state governors and chiefs of law enforcement have already officially declared heroin epidemics in their areas.

“Our earlier studies showed that people taking prescription painkillers thought of themselves as different from those who used heroin,” Cicero said. “We heard over and over again, ‘At least I’m not taking heroin.’ Obviously, that’s changed.”

People may be surprised that a common street drug like heroin has become so acceptable in suburban and rural settings, Cicero said, adding that further studies “may shine light on the problem.”

“The overdose deaths and hospitalizations are symptoms of a problem that we really need to deal with,” he said. “You can’t effectively treat people or prevent addiction unless you know why they are taking drugs, and we don’t really have a handle on that yet. Unfortunately, the problem with heroin is it’s the most powerful opiate ever created, and even if people think they are being careful, it can kill.”

Here at Novus Medical Detox Center, we’re fully aware of the increase in heroin addiction, heroin overdoses, and the need for better heroin detox across the country. The Novus medical heroin detox protocols include an individually designed program, 24/7 medical supervision in a comfortable, home-like environment with great food, special IV’s that hydrate and replace essential nutrients, natural herbs and supplements and effective medications as needed.

If you or anyone you care about is suffering from a heroin dependence, or dependence on any prescription opiate painkillers, call Novus right away, and get all your questions answered.

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Have you noticed any change in the behavior of your doctor lately? Or any of his staff? If you answered “Yes” you might be looking at some side effects of prescription drug abuse, dependence or addiction.

USA Today has published the results of a nationwide survey that found at least 100,000 medical professionals a year are trapped by prescription drug abuse and addiction. And their study supports an earlier one by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from back in 2007. In that study, at least 103,000 medical personnel across the country were found to be addicted to, or abusing, prescription drugs.

Drug dependence is an unfortunate situation for doctors, nurses and other public and private medical personnel. But it’s very bad news for patients. Medical personnel told USA Today that patients treated by drugged personnel are “lucky” to escape harm. They admitted treating patients while impaired, and only hoped they hadn’t caused any harm – they were too stoned to know for sure.

Countless lawsuits by patients claiming to have been harmed by medical errors are part of the public record. And many errors have been traced to poor judgment due to prescription drug abuse.

image001Three infamous cases caused by medical technicians involved infecting patients with the hepatitis C virus. In separate hospitals, unknown to each other, these technicians were already infected with hepatitis C. They were all addicted to prescription painkillers themselves, like hydrocodone or oxycodone. And like most addicts, they would go to any lengths to support their habit.

So what did they do? This is almost unbelievable. They stole syringes loaded with narcotic painkillers intended for patients, and injected the drugs into themselves. But then, they refilled the syringes with saline – the syringes now contaminated with their own hep-C-infected blood – and put them back on the patients’ trays.

One of the addicts, a travelling cardiac technician, was recently sentenced to 39 years in prison in a federal New Hampshire court for infecting dozens of patients in four hospitals with his own hep-C infection. David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter Hospital in NH, had already been fired from four previous med tech jobs for drug use and theft. Federal investigators have so far identified 46 patients in New Hampshire, Maryland, Kansas and Pennsylvania infected with the same hep-C strain he carries.

How many patients in all have been put at risk like this? No one knows, but according to ongoing investigations, it’s dozens and dozens.

This situation of drug-impaired medical care isn’t news in the medical community. Or to malpractice insurers and lawyers. But it’s been hushed up as far as the public goes, until now. The USA Today series is still reverberating.

The paper reported that far from enough is being done to solve the problem, even though drug abuse and patient risks are well known in clinics and hospitals.

Most hospitals and clinics have poor security for their drug supplies – no closed-circuit video and inadequate computerized tracking systems – so almost anyone can easily get their hands on drugs. No state yet requires medical personnel to undergo drug testing. And when someone is actually caught stealing drugs, disciplinary action is rarely taken.

SAMHSA says one out of every 10 medical practitioners in America will abuse drugs or alcohol at some point in their career. That leaves a pretty high risk of exposure to possibly dangerous medical care for patients everywhere.

It may sound like a hopeless situation. But we can make a difference. We need to stay vigilant and not be afraid to speak up and question the actions of medical personnel when something seems fishy.

And this is really important. If you know a medical worker who needs help with a drug problem, you need to call Novus right now. Prescription drug abuse can be treated, and it starts with safe and effective medical prescription drug detox, like that offered here at Novus Medical Detox Center.

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image001A few weeks ago, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick declared opiate addiction a “public health emergency” in the state. He created a task force to study the situation and come back with some effective recommendations. And that’s just what the task force has done.

Patrick wasn’t paying political lip-service to the problem, either. The governor has “put the money where his mouth is” by immediately accepting the recommendations and allocating $20 million to jump start at least two dozen new addiction treatment programs across the state. And the initiatives are aimed at the right target – prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services directly for those who need it – addicts.

Among many the new initiatives are:

  • $4 million on new residential treatment programs for adolescents, young adults, families with children, and two special programs that will give priority to Latinos.
  • $3 million on new treatment initiatives for inmates, including Vivitrol (naltrexone), a drug that blocks the effects of opiates.
  • Enhancements to increase the effectiveness of the state’s electronic prescription monitoring program.
  • New regional walk-in assessment centers, staffed by professionals who can assess and advise anyone who stops by with info on appropriate, ongoing support groups.
  • A new direct-line 800 number for anyone who decides to check into a detox or rehab program. The caller receives a list of appropriate locations statewide that have openings right now, to help addicts avoid waiting once they’ve made that crucial decision.
  • Five new community-based treatment programs that provide home-based counseling, bringing the total in the state to 12.
  • Finding for a fifth “recovery high school” — there are four in the state already, and this one will be in Worcester.
  • Funding to expand an effective family support program called Learn to Cope.
  • Improved educational campaigns aimed especially at younger people are also on the agenda.

Gov. Patrick said he would like to see a New England-wide plan to reduce opiate abuse. He intends to discuss the idea with fellow governors in mid-June. Patrick said he would like to see a joint education campaign, and multi-state law enforcement collaboration to help reduce opiates available in the region. He also would like to initiate a system of sharing open treatment beds, to help reduce waiting periods when local beds aren’t immediately available. Once an addict has decided to get clean, waiting can often lead to a change of heart and a return to drugs.

As for beefed-up education campaigns, Dr. Barbara Herbert, chief of addiction services at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and a member of the task force, said any new campaign won’t use “the same old ‘just say no to drugs’” idea.

“We have to bring a different critical lens to the kind of education that we do,” Herbert said. “Fundamentally this disease is not about drugs, it’s not about substance, it’s about the disease itself. It’s about what’s going on inside people that we need to help heal.”

Officials in numerous other states have also gone on record recently calling for decisive action to slow the opiate addiction epidemic in their regions. But Massachusetts, by putting all these resources into play so quickly, is definitely leading the way in the Northeast.

Here at Novus, our patients have made the decision to become free of drugs and reclaim their lives. They come to Novus from far and wide because we have pioneered new medical opiate / opioid detox protocols which make withdrawal safe, more effective and much more comfortable. If you or anyone you care for has a problem with opiates or opioids, please call Novus and let us help you plan for a better future.

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Are you a family member or friend of someone using or abusing opioids? If so, this blog is for you.

Whether they’re dependent on legitimate prescriptions or they’re abusing illicit prescriptions and street drugs, we have some important, possibly life-saving news.

image001The FDA has just approved a new hand-held, drug-overdose treatment device that can revive opioid overdose victims. Called Evzio, it can be used by anyone – family, friends, fellow drug users – to save a life. No medical training is needed. It’s going to be available this summer.

Evzio is about the size of a cigarette pack, and contains the drug naloxone that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. And it provides visual and voice instructions to help you apply it to a victim.

The idea is that, if an overdose occurs, someone is nearby who knows what’s happening – the victim is a known opioid user, has stopped breathing and has probably lost consciousness – and there is an Evzio device handy.

Evzio is quickly retrieved from pocket, purse or medicine cabinet, activated by pulling a tab and then pressed firmly against the victim’s thigh for 5 seconds. It works through jeans and other normal clothing. As you can see from the illustration, it’s not a syringe, just a thin little box that neatly fits your hand.

Return to consciousness should be almost immediate. But if not, a second dose can be given which will almost always work. If two doses don’t work, the naloxone was too late or it’s not an opioid overdose. The company advises to always keep two doses available.

image003Naloxone has been the standard treatment for opioid overdose for many years. But it’s been available mostly in ERs. Naloxone kits requiring some special medical training are carried by an increasing number of emergency responders. But although many lives are being saved with it, cops and ambulances sometimes arrive too late. Evzio hopes to dramatically increase the number of overdose rescues by being readily available on the scene.

Now, we don’t want this to sound like an Evzio commercial. Novus certainly doesn’t believe that an easy-to-use device like Evzio is any excuse to continue using and abusing drugs. Every day we see joyful evidence that opioid detox is a much, much better way of handling addiction, than letting it go on until someone almost dies. Here at Novus, we’re deeply committed to helping people overcome opioid addiction before they fall prey to a potentially fatal overdose.

But we are also realists. We’ve been dealing with the prescription drug and heroin addiction epidemic for years, and we know that only a small percentage of users get the treatment they need. Overdose deaths from opioids have quadrupled in 10 years to nearly 17,000 a year, and more than 3,000 of these are from heroin. These staggering statistics now surpass traffic fatalities in many states.

So we think it’s in everyone’s interest to take a look at all the naloxone solutions available – as long as they don’t become considered a “solution” to the dangers of opioid overdose. Only opioid detox, rehab, and long-term abstention are the safe and permanent solution.

We strongly encourage you to do your utmost to prevent a risky overdose in the first place. Get your relative or friend into a medical detox program, like the opioid withdrawal and detox program here at Novus. This is the best way to help save that person’s life.

As we said at the beginning, this blog contained important news for the family and friends of opioid abusers. And indeed, having naloxone handy isn’t a bad idea.

But never forget that you can’t possibly be poised and ready, 24/7, to leap to the rescue of an opioid addict lying in an alleyway on the other side of town. Get the people you care for on the road to full recovery and a life free from drugs before it’s too late.

Call Novus any time to get your questions answered about opioid detox. We are always here to help.

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novus_xanaxWe hear a lot of different answers to the question, ‘What’s the best way to quit drinking?’ Most of them are dangerous at best, and deadly at worst.

Here are some typical answers, from the worst up to the best:

“Just stop!”

Worst idea of all. First, quitting alcohol cold turkey can be fatal. Second, for every alcoholic that can “just stop” there are countless thousands who absolutely cannot. You only hear this answer from people who know nothing about alcoholics, or about what happens when you drink alcohol.

“Cut down your drinking a little each day until you’ve stopped.”

Oh right, like that’s going to happen. You might as well tell someone to stop breathing a little more each day until they can quit breathing altogether. To an alcoholic, it’s the drink that’s keeping him or her going.

“Take oxycodone or Xanax to chill out, and drink less each day until you can quit.”

There are drugs that are sometimes prescribed during alcohol detox. Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug) and oxycodone (a narcotic painkiller, basically legal heroin), are not those drugs. They also have the highest overdose death rates in the United States. Aside from being addictive, taking them with alcohol can be deadlier than quitting cold turkey.

“Just do an alcohol detox program. In other words, find a detox center somewhere, get admitted, and hope it works.”

Saying “alcohol detox program” at least suggests a professional, experienced facility. But there are detox centers, and then there are alcohol specialist medical detox centers.

Ordinary detox centers don’t specialize in medical alcohol detox, and don’t provide a tailored detox program for each patient’s body, metabolism and circumstance and provide excellent medical supervision. They don’t do proper medical workups on each patient, and they don’t provide proper medical care during detox. You’re at risk detoxing in one of these “one size fits all” detox centers.

And the best way to quit drinking alcohol is…

Happily, there is a best way to quit drinking, and it’s called “medical alcohol detox” – but only if it’s a specialized medical detox facility that combines the most safety, and the most comfort, with the highest success rate.

There aren’t too many of these. Novus Medical Detox Center is one of the very few that qualifies – safest, most comfortable, most successful.

We help people detox from alcohol all the time, and guess what? They get off alcohol every time, and they can’t believe how much easier it was than they expected it to be.

Isn’t it great that the safest and most comfortable alcohol detox is also the most successful?

Plus, Novus provides private rooms, great home-cooked meals, internet access, your own TV and DVD player, and the most experienced, and the nicest people, you could ever hope to meet.

Call Novus today and get all the facts about the Best Way to Quit Drinking – Novus Medical Detox Center, Pasco County, Florida.

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Over the last couple of years, prescription drug abuse statistics have slightly improved – only a tiny bit, and only among some age groups in some states – but it’s an encouraging improvement, the first we’ve seen in over a decade. But as we’ve reported so often recently, methadone abuse is still rampant in most states, and is among the deadliest of all prescription drugs.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of Americans abusing prescription drugs actually decreased a little bit from 2010 to 2011, something like from 7 million down to a little less than 7 million. And only for some age groups. And they may have slid up a little in 2012.

Keeping in mind that we’re talking about millions of Americans here – in the 6 to 7 million range – the effects that prescription drugs are having on Americans continues like an epidemic of plague. The sheer numbers of lost careers, broken families, and sudden, tragic deaths among people of all ages are still in the countless hundreds of thousands, possibly millions. For every 10 people suffering from prescription drug abuse, only one of them actually receives any treatment. And deaths from prescription drug overdoses have worsened in almost all states, according to the Trust For America’s Health (TFAH), the national public health activist organization.

Last October, TFAH published its Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic. This ambitious report provides a complete state-by-state ranking of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population. The death rates were doubled or more in 29 states in the last decade – quadrupled in four of them, tripled in 10 others, and was as high as 6 times in another

The Appalachian and Southwest states suffered the highest overdose death rates: West Virginia topped the list at 28.9 per every 100,000 people – a 605 percent increase from 1999 when the rate was only 4.1. At the bottom of the list, North Dakota was lowest with 3.4 per every 100,000 people. Rates were generally the lowest in the Midwestern states, with the Northeast, Southeast, and Northwest ranging higher.

image001According to published figures from the CDC, prescription drug-related deaths outnumber heroin and cocaine combined, and exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington, D.C. “Misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers alone costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion each year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs,” TFAH reported.

A year or so ago, the CDC reported that methadone is involved in one third of all opioid pain reliever overdose deaths, but it accounts for only a few percent of opioid pain reliever prescriptions. Obviously, there’s something really dangerous about methadone. And it’s not just methadone abuse that’s killing so many more people per prescription than other pain relievers. Doctors need to explain the facts about methadone to patients – the lack of the medical facts about how methadone works in the body is what’s causing many of these tragedies.

So let’s get real about the prescription drug situation. When we hear about a slight improvement here or there, well that’s good. But when we take a closer look at these numbers, it’s like saying someone has cut down from 5 bottles of whiskey a day to 4½ bottles, or from 100 cigarettes to 97. Okay, it’s an improvement, but it’s almost negligible. This country is reeling from a prescription drug abuse catastrophe, and there’s no widespread relief in sight. A lot of prevention activities could be undertaken – better education is just one of many. But until prevention catches up with abuse, the only answer is effectively helping those already dependent and addicted. Fast and effective treatment is the only way to cut down on the enormous human and financial losses right now.

As one of the country’s premier medical detox facilities, Novus is in the front lines of the battle, helping turn things around one patient at a time. Novus helps people with any kind of dependency, and is known as one of the few facilities anywhere that accepts patients for methadone high dose detox, regardless of the amount of the daily dosage. Our advanced medical detox protocols reduce methadone withdrawal symptoms and get patients on their way home drug-free in record time.

If you or someone you care for is abusing methadone or any prescription drugs, call Novus and speak to one of our caring detox advisors today. Please let us help you turn your situation around before it becomes one of those tragic statistics.

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The several million Americans dependent on narcotic painkillers, along with their families, friends and co-workers, are probably giving a little cheer today at some pretty amazing news. Two California municipalities, Santa Clara County and Orange County, have launched lawsuits against five of the largest narcotic painkiller pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The suit, being brought on behalf of the entire state of California, accuses the drug companies of creating the nation’s prescription drug epidemic by “waging a campaign of deception” to boost sales of their dangerously addictive painkillers.

Named in the suit are:

  • Actavis
  • Endo Health Solutions Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Purdue Pharma
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Cephalon Inc.

The drugs made or marketed by these companies include most popular brand name painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Opana, Duragesic and others, along with many generic narcotic painkillers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and others.

Both Orange and Santa Clara counties say they have been seriously impacted by prescription narcotic overdose deaths, emergency room visits and skyrocketing medical costs. The lawsuit contends that the pharmaceutical companies violated California laws against false advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance.

The LA Times said the 100-page lawsuit uses “sweeping language reminiscent of the legal attack against the tobacco industry.” The companies employed tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to “conceal their deceptive marketing and conspiratorial behavior.”

The suit “alleges the drug companies have reaped blockbuster profits by manipulating doctors into believing the benefits of narcotic painkillers outweighed the risks, despite ‘a wealth of scientific evidence to the contrary’”, the Times said. The lawsuit claims that the drug companies’ marketing practices “opened the floodgates” for such drugs and “the result has been catastrophic.” Patients were encouraged to ask doctors for narcotic painkillers to treat common conditions such as headaches, arthritis and back pain. The drug manufacturers promoted narcotic painkillers as safer than they actually are and promised unproven benefits such as improved sleep and quality of life. Such claims are beyond those allowed by the FDA, the suit says. The result, says the suit, is “a population of addicts” which has led to the explosion in heroin abuse and addiction – the same high at a fraction of the cost of illicit prescription painkillers.

The suit also says that in Orange County, there is a painkiller-related death every other day. The county’s district attorney told the Times he sees the suit as a matter of public protection, with the “primary goal to stop the lies about what these drugs do.”

No methadone on the list

In what we see as an oversight, the narcotic painkiller methadone is missing from the list of drugs, along with the various companies that manufacture and market methadone. Also known as Amidone, Dolophine, Heptadon, Methadose, Physeptone, Symoron and many other names, methadone is associated with more deaths than any other narcotic painkiller. Deaths linked to methadone have at least quintupled since 1999, primarily from its use as a painkiller.

At least some of the responsibility for the methadone catastrophe belongs to doctors who prescribed the drug for pain, without properly cautioning patients about its uniquely dangerous characteristics. Methadone lasts much longer in the body than other opiate painkillers, long after the pain relief has faded. Feeling the return of the pain, patients take more methadone. The result is physical overdose and, all too often, sudden death.

But drug companies are also complicit for not ensuring that doctors themselves have been adequately educated about methadone. And we have to say, that responsibility also extends all the way up to the FDA which has allowed this situation to go on for far too long.

Meanwhile, methadone’s widespread use as a treatment for opioid addiction has created a new subclass of “legally” drug-dependent Americans. Unfortunately, many discover, sooner or later, just how tough it can be to get off methadone – even more difficult than the heroin or other narcotic they were previously taking.

Even worse, many of these people can become trapped when their daily methadone dosages become higher than average, something that can happen as time passes. The specialized medical methadone detox program they need for high-dose dependence is frequently difficult to find.

We’re looking forward to seeing what becomes of the California law suit. As one of the nation’s leading drug detox clinics, Novus Medical Detox Center is on the front lines treating all prescription narcotic painkiller dependencies. And Novus is one of the few detox centers in the country able to accept and successfully treat higher-dosage methadone detox patients.

If you or someone you care about is caught in the methadone trap, call us today. We are here to help.

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NOVUS BLOG May 1 2014 Parents Using Methadone to Pacify Children_html_53c55943Can you believe this? Some kids are actually being fed methadone by their parents or caregivers to pacify them, or to just shut them up.

Methadone can kill kids quicker than a bullet. It’s one of the deadliest opioids on the planet. It kills more people than any other drug. Period.

Yet we have just heard that some people using methadone to treat their own addictions, people who should know better than anyone else, have been found intentionally drugging their kids with methadone to keep them quiet.

Could this really be true?

It’s true alright, and a new report from Adfam reveals the statistics. Adfam is a national support group in the UK that helps families affected by alcohol and drug addiction. And in the past few years, says the group, several kids have died after their parents fed them methadone to make them be quiet.

There have been 23 cases of kids ingesting drug treatment medications, the report says, and 17 of those kids died – 15 from methadone, one from buprenorphine and another from an unspecified cause. The average age of the kids was two to three years old.

“Some children ingested methadone after it was stored insecurely in the home or in inappropriate containers,” the report says. But here’s the kicker: “Several children died after parents gave them methadone in deliberate but misguided attempts to pacify them.”

In the UK, says Adfam, there are more than 60,000 people on addiction recovery drugs who are also responsible for the care of children. That’s a lot of potential for putting kids at risk of accidental, or intentional, drug poisoning.

In the States, that 60,000 addicts on recovery drugs might well be doubled or even tripled. And kids getting into their parents’ prescription drugs isn’t just happening in the UK – it’s a big problem here in America, too.

It’s a terrible, but well known fact, that some people carelessly leave their prescription methadone or other treatment prescription drugs out where kids can get at them. As a result, almost a week doesn’t pass without a report in the media about some kid dying or nearly dying from swallowing pills or liquid methadone left out on the coffee table. In most cases, parents are arrested and charged with such crimes as ‘first-degree reckless homicide’ or ‘suspected homicide and child endangerment’. Authorities don’t take these situations lightly.

NOVUS BLOG May 1 2014 Parents Using Methadone to Pacify Children_html_74249d35Adfam’s recommendations include better government standards for improved training for drug services, pharmacies, physicians and social workers. The dangers of drug treatment medications need to be more clearly spelled out to all concerned, and professionals need to be better informed so they can effectively “address the deliberate administration of drugs to children.” Lockable storage boxes and other safety plans should be provided for anyone responsible for child care who takes addiction treatment medication into their home.

We’re certainly in favor of better safeguards for kids, to keep them safe from exposure to harmful drugs like methadone. But taking a longer view, we’re even more in favor of dealing with methadone dependence permanently using our medical methadone detox, which should almost always be followed up with a rehabilitation program.

Here at Novus, our record of helping methadone dependent people get off methadone once and for all is without question among the best in the world. And Novus accepts patients on any level of daily methadone dosage, including the highest dosages usually refused by other detox clinics.

It’s always safest to raise kids in a home where drugs are not part of daily life. So call us today, and tell us about your needs. Whether it’s for yourself or someone else, we are the experts, and we’re here to help.

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